You won't be good at what you don't do

You would probably not expect yourself to place well in a swimming race if you only got into the pool once every six months. And if you need to generate custom reports from the accounting software, you’ll probably seek training and experience so you can increase your comfort with the programming parameters. When you engage in ANYTHING on a frequent …

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You Can't Change Other People

“You can’t change other people. You can only change how you respond to them.” I first heard this life lesson from a mentor when I was a newly minted supervisor 30 years ago. At the time I was struggling with how to manage several very difficult personalities on my team. What I learned in that important conversation with Tiona has …

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Read more articles like this one in: Communication, In the workplace, Leadership, Practicing Happiness

Assertiveness: You Can Do This!

Any emotion that you WANT to experience more can become more natural if you play the role, or practice it, more often.  Let’s look at assertiveness. In assertiveness, you are able to stand up for yourself or your position from a place of confidence. When you practice assertiveness, you are more likely to get your own needs met and your …

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Questioning the Need for Answers

I fear that one of the biggest obstacles to solving our world’s many problems is that we’ve become a society where, if you don’t have THE answer — and the CORRECT answer — on the first pass, you are labeled ineffective.  You are a failure if you don’t have the answer. I got to thinking about this after a colleague …

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Read more articles like this one in: Communication, Leadership, Meaning

Communicating Unhappy News

As more and more companies must make the difficult decision to reduce staff and send people packing, I’ve had many leaders come to me and ask for advice on what to tell people when they ask questions. When people suspect a lay off is pending, they shift into constant anxiety. Yet too many top leaders, for their own reasons, insist …

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Tough Choice

I could not resist pulling this two-minute video onto my blog.  It resonated with me because, of all the leadership challenges that come up in coaching and training conversations, this is the most common area of concern (I can’t tell you more without giving away the twist). This is part of a new series of humorous looks at Crucial Conversations …

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What's the Best Piece of Advice You Ever Got?

“What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?”  A TV interviewer asked this of her guest recently, and that question got me thinking about how I’d respond. My mother always used to say, “if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” It took me a couple decades to figure out exactly …

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Are You as Happy as You Want to be?

Are you are as happy as you want to be?  Have you “succeeded” yet still find happiness elusive?  Do you sometimes feel “stuck” in your career or your life, without a clear path to what’s next for you? If those questions caused you to pause for a moment, I invite you to read on. What is Happiness, and Why Should …

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Read more articles like this one in: About Happiness, Communication, Executive Coaching

An Exhortation

I recently read of a poll which asked, “do you believe that Americans today still respond to the call John F Kennedy made in his 1961 inaugural speech, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’?”  23% said Yes, 70% said no.  Hmm. In a few hours our new President will …

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Happiness is a wet dog

So, my wife and I are dogsitting for our “grand dog,” while my daughter and son-in-law are on a vacation in New York City. We see the dog (Heidi, a miniature black schnauzer) regularly, since we drop by their house every evening and take Heidi with us on our daily walk.  She’s a sweet, well-behaved, and incredibly well-trained dog. Living …

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Read more articles like this one in: About Happiness, Communication, Pleasure, Relationships